Bystanders stone Cape law enforcement officers after they bust 'illegal crayfish fishers'
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Cape Town - Cape law enforcement officers were stoned by bystanders as they left the harbour with a boat in tow after they had bust suspects for allegedly fishing illegally.
The City's Law Enforcement Marine and Environmental Unit together with Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP) rangers were on a routine boat patrol on Sunday, July 25 to combat illegal fishing in the Marine Protected Area between Hout Bay and Kommetjie.
It was then when the officers spotted a boat loading allegedly illegally caught crayfish just below Chapman's Peak.
Wayne Dyason, Law Enforcement inspector at the City of Cape Town, said that after seeing the officers the suspects jettisoned the crayfish and fled in the boat towards Hout Bay harbour.
“A high-speed sea chase ensued which ended in Hout Bay harbour, with the suspects abandoning the boat and making a getaway through the parking area.
“The boat which was left idling by the suspects in the shallows was impounded along with several oxygen tanks and towed across the waters to Simon's Town,” Dyason said.
“The officers were stoned by bystanders as they left the harbour with the boat in tow.”
Meanwhile on Monday, the City's Marine and Environmental Unit also arrested three suspects for allegedly fishing illegally with gill nets in the Helderberg Marine Protected Area, which is managed by the City.
A 29-year-old and two 31-year-old suspects, all from Macassar, were arrested and were allegedly found in possession of Galjoen, mullet, Steenbras and Belma fish, some of which were apparently undersized. Fishing equipment was confiscated.
Dyason said that the city worked closely with all Operation Phakisa stakeholders and regularly took part in joint operation efforts.
Operation Phakisa is a government initiative which focuses on the ocean's economic potential and the enforcement agencies focus on the threats to this potential.